Poverty and Public Health
4:40 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

New Mexico Ranks Highest For Childhood Hunger

The Southwest has some of the highest rates of childhood hunger in the country. That's according to a new study that says New Mexico is the most food insecure state in the nation.

The report, authored by Feeding America, ranked New Mexico first for child hunger, followed by Arizona in third place, Nevada in eighth, Texas in ninth place, and California in 10th. Sonya Warwick is with New Mexico's Roadrunner Food Bank.

"Basically one-third of the children in the state are experiencing hunger," says Warwick. "Two years ago when the study took place we were ranked about 11th, tied with several other states, and our food insecurity at that point was about 27.3%. So as the study has taken place over the last three years the rank of New Mexico has continued to fall in terms of our childhood hunger status."

Warwick says the rising numbers could be attributed to slow economic recovery in the Southwest, and that counties with high numbers of Hispanic and Native Americans had some of the most severe rates of hunger in the region.